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The Manure Spreader: Pot roast

Tim Moffett for Progressive Dairy Published on 01 October 2020
Tim Moffett

When it comes to food or drink, we’ve all got one item that makes us cringe when we hear the name, see it on a plate or smell it in a glass.

I’m not talking about some strange food item you saw people eating in a 1982 issue of National Geographic. I’m not even talking about the German beer cheese and horseradish sandwiches my Czech cousin Mark eats that I think smell like hoof rot. I’m talking about that “food experience” which has scarred you for life.

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I’m talking about the kind of thing like the smell of cheap whiskey or tequila that immediately brings back the night you got so sick the room was spinning, and you said those famous words, “I’ll never do that again.” We all have that one “kryptonite” meal. Mine happens to be beef pot roast. Don’t worry, I’m not becoming a vegetarian.

Let me explain why I won’t eat beef pot roast.

My mom was the best cook ever. However, our family had a Sunday after-church tradition. For some reason unannounced until now, every other Sunday we went to my aunt and uncle’s house for Sunday lunch. There were six kids in our family and seven in theirs, which was a blast as a kid. Let’s be clear: I love my aunt. She is one of the most generous people I’ve ever known. Cooking for that many people was a lot of work, and I would never talk ill of her. However, when it came to my uncle and one of my cousins, now that’s different. I blame them for my dislike of beef pot roast. Both of them refused to eat chicken, which is why my poor aunt had to make beef pot roast every time we came over.

It’s not the type of meat I don’t like. It’s the way it’s cooked.

A Crock Pot or pressure cooker to me is just a fancy mechanism for boiling water. Because a rump roast is neither soup nor hotdog, don’t use either to cook it. Meat belongs on a grill. But Tim, I can hear you say, I put carrots, potatoes, onions and celery in there for flavor. Well, after four hours in the hot tub of flavortown, the veggies are almost as flavorful as rice cakes – but without the crunch. In fact, the vegetables are often firm enough to eat with a straw.

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That leads to my second point. My aunt’s family were dairy farmers too, and you know what that means? That means our freezers were full of beef. Not just any beef. Beef that came from an old, wore-out Holstein that had some type of mishap which sent her to freezer camp. Or she was so old the cull price wouldn’t pay enough to truck her to the market. Either way, this wasn’t “finished beef” with fat and marbling. After eight hours in a pressure cooker, this meat was so tough that when my aunt put some meat on my plate, it kicked me, then ran out the door and started grazing in the front yard. This meat was so tough and chewy, Chuck Norris had two bites and spent three weeks putting Bengay on his cheeks.

So, my friends, if I happen to be in your house for dinner and I see a Crock Pot in use in the kitchen, don’t be offended if I tell you, “I really hope we are having hotdogs.”  end mark

Check out Tim the Dairy Farmer at Tim the Dairy Farmer and look for his new “Ask A Farmer” channel on YouTube.

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